The first Grand Prix of the 2022 season was nearly all that it was hyped up to be. The new regulations were seen in full fighting action for the first time and the results did not disappoint.
2022 was going to be a new era for Formula 1 with closer racing and less discrepancy between the biggest and smaller teams.
Formula 1 fans did not have to wait until race day for the drama to kick off. Sebastian Vettel had been ruled out of Bahrain GP after testing positive for Covid-19 meaning Nico Hulkenberg came in to fill the empty seat at Aston Martin.
Saturday’s qualifying kicked off and the results were immense. Both Ferraris were in the top three with Charles Leclerc starting on pole, reigning World Champion Max Verstappen in second and the second Ferrari, Carlos Sainz, in third.
Lewis Hamilton was in fourth while his former teammate Valtteri Bottas had out-qualified the youngster who replaced him.
George Russell started the race in ninth in a Mercedes, while Bottas was starting in sixth, in an Alfa Romeo.
Not only had Mercedes been out-qualified by Alfa Romeo, but Kevin Magnussen, whose return to F1 was almost as last minute as Hulkenberg’s call-up, was starting the race in seventh in his Haas.
Race day came and all was going to plan for Ferrari and Red Bull until three laps before the end. Verstappen had been fighting hard against Leclerc to take first place but his engine began to fail him and he had to heartbreakingly end his race early.
It was now on the second Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez, to score his team the maximum points he could but on the final lap, his engine failed him too.
Red Bull have now started the 2022 season with no points.
It was almost a full house of Red Bull DNFs as Pierre Gasly’s engine set alight and became what the Frenchman described as a ‘barbecue’.
Yuki Tsunoda was the only remaining driver out of the four affiliated with Red Bull to finish the race.
However, resounding joy for Ferrari who scored their first 1-2 finish since Singapore 2019 and Leclerc earned himself his third career win in Formula 1.
With 23 races to fit in in the 2022 calendar, the second race is just around the corner and here is everything you need to know ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2022…
When is the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix?
Race weekend will commence on Friday 25 March 2022 and conclude on Sunday 27 March 2022:
Friday 25 March:
- Practice 1: 2pm - 3pm GMT
- Practice 2: 5pm - 6pm GMT
Saturday 26 March:
- Practice 3: 2pm - 3pm GMT
- Qualifying: 5pm - 6pm GMT
Sunday 27 March:
- RACE: 6pm - 8pm GMT
Where is the Saudi Arabia GP?
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix takes place on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
Lewis Hamilton won the first race here in 2021. The circuit is the fastest street in the Formula 1 calendar and average speeds at the track are around 250km/h.
The only track faster is Monza, the ‘Temple of Speed’.
The track consists of 27 corners, with the majority being quick, sinuous bends.
How to watch the Saudi Arabian GP
Every session from the start of the first practice session to the end of the race will be available to watch on Sky Sports.
A live stream of their coverage can also be accessed via NowTV.
Sebastian Vettel is still an uncertainty for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as he awaits a negative Covid Test. If he remains positive, Nico Hulkenberg will remain with Aston Martin.
Who will win the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix?
Ferrari are the obvious favourites for this track given the speed we have seen in recent weeks from them.
If Red Bull can fix their engine issues they will also be fierce on the track but Mercedes appear to have a way to go before they will be able to compete with these two teams.
We may once again see a strong fight for first place between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen if the latter’s car doesn’t let him down.
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